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Scheduling doctors' and dentist appointments

Lars
last year

I put in a request for an appointment to see my dermatologist for July 22, which will be six months after he removed carcinoma from my back. He wanted me to return in three months, but I was in Cathedral City self-quarantining at that time in April. I canceled that appointment because I did not feel safe going to a clinic at that time. However, it is essential that I be checked for more carcinoma, as that can be deadly. Earlier he had removed several basal cells, but the carcinoma on my back was serious, according to him. He also said that I need to return every six months to be checked.

I am also slightly overdue for a teeth cleaning, and I'm not exactly sure when I should schedule that. I suppose it can wait until I feel safe, but I don't want to wait too long.

My dermatologist's office is in Santa Monica, and my dentist is in Marina Del Rey. At least they are not in Westwoood (UCLA Medical Center), which is much more crowded with patients.

When do you think it will be safe to go to doctors' appointments? Have you postponed dentist appointments?

Comments (52)

  • Tina Marie
    last year

    My teeth cleaning was rescheduled twice. I went last month then again 2 weeks ago as I broke a tooth. I feel perfectly safe going to my dentist. I have an appt with my allergist end of the month and will go. I do not see any drs who are located in a hospital/medical building center.

    Lars thanked Tina Marie
  • Uptown Gal
    last year

    I have postponed a schedule dental appointment...but it was just a check and

    cleaning. Not sure when I will be going in...hoping no problems pop up. My

    dentist assures me that all care is being taken.

    Lars thanked Uptown Gal
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  • hallngarden
    last year

    Lars, I had an appointment with my dentist two weeks ago. Main reason I felt comfortable is he is a family member. I stayed in car until he had a chair ready for me and I walked in back door and he walked me directly to chair. He had brought in a staff to clean each room thoroughly after each patient left. So I felt very comfortable. Maybe check with your medical facility to know precautions they are taking to make sure you will feel comfortable. Regarding our doctor visits , we are using iPhone visits only.

    Lars thanked hallngarden
  • morz8
    last year

    Lars, I cancelled an appt back in March, but went 2 weeks ago for a molar extraction and bone graft. It's going to take several months to complete with the implanted tooth and I felt ready to begin. Precautions were exemplary. I was met in the parking lot and interviewed, temp taken, and walked in masked. No one inside long enough to pause in the waiting room - it wasn't being used. I was comfortable with their effort.

    DH has a cleaning next week and after talking to his dentists staff, decided he's comfortable going. He hasn't taken the shelter in place lightly and has been careful all along. He was given the choice of rescheduling but decided he's ready to go (we are under 20 total cases to date in this county, in Phase 2 and I'm told likely moving into Phase 3 reopenings next week).

    We both had annual dermatologists skin checks appts for April. I moved those to end of this month June and if nothing changes in the next couple of weeks we will go.

    I moved a May annual endocrinologists check up to end of July. That one in a multistory building in Seattle and I wasn't ready to be in their lobby or elevator in May.

    You are in a more heavily impacted area, but I do think it's important you not postpone your followup skin check too long. Why don't you call, find out what precautions they are taking for office visits....I think most staff quite willing to discuss what virus prevention steps they are taking.

    Lars thanked morz8
  • chloebud
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I tend to agree with rockypointdog with learining to deal with this. I would definitely go to the dermatologist. My dental cleaning for April was cancelled. I go every 4 months so will just wait until the one scheduled for August. I did cancel a bone density scan in April and need to reschedule that.

    IDK, dental visits especially seem iffy considering the face-to-face contact the dentist and his/her staff have with people all day long. Not the best time to be us or them!

    Regarding other doctor-related issues, our second grandchild is due this month, and our son-in-law can't even be there until the moment of birth. He has to wait somewhere outside the hospital until then. Lovely.

    Lars thanked chloebud
  • jewels_ks
    last year

    I went to the dentist last week. They had designated chairs you could sit in. They asked questions and took my temperature. The hygienist was glove and shield masked the whole time. My chart went in a small trash bag when she was finished with it. I feel that dentist offices have always been very conscious of cleanliness (at least mine). Good luck!

    Lars thanked jewels_ks
  • Bonnie
    last year

    I have postponed a dental cleaning, which was due in March. We just entered phase 2 of reopening in Massachusetts and I won't feel comfortable going for several more months.


    I would not hesitate to see the dermatologist if I were you. That is one where the benefit probably outweighs the risk.

    Lars thanked Bonnie
  • jupidupi
    last year

    Next Tuesday I will go into the city for a mammogram and a fitting for progressive lenses. I had already put off the mammogram, feel fine but am superstitious about putting it off any longer, although I'm nervous about their office. But I'm always nervous about medical offices because I'm a bit of a germaphobe. Both places have sent me information about how they are keeping things clean. The ophthalmologist office will take my temperature right at the door before letting me enter. We are only staying in the city for one night, but I'm very excited about getting to go home. I also have a dental check-up appointment scheduled in a couple of weeks, but I think I'm going to cancel. My dentist is always booked up way in advance, and I suspect there are people who are in pain who need that appointment more than I do.

  • Lars
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I requested an appointment with my dermatologist on line, and the office responded already, and so I will be seeing him on July 22. I haven't spoken with them, but I feel certain that they will be taking all the necessary precautions. When I requested the appointment on line, I had to answer quite a few questions regarding my current health concerning any symptoms I might have for Covid-19. I think I should be safe enough by mid-July. Anyway, I feel that I am more at risk from carcinoma than I am from Covid-19. My heritage (according to 22&me) is 99% NW and northern European, and so I am at higher risk for carcinoma. My brother Kevin and my sister are at even higher risk because they both have red hair. I'm the dark one in the family, but I still had platinum blond hair as a child.

    I will have to call my dentist's office, but I think I can get an appointment there fairly easily and will wait until next month.

    I agree with you, Bonnie!

  • OutsidePlaying
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I would almost insist on being seen by the dermatologist for a followup. If nothing else, for peace of mind that nothing else has cropped up and like Bonnie said, the benefit likely far outweighs the risk. My only worry would be the waiting room if it is anything like my dermatologist’s office. She is in a practice with 2 others and the waiting area is always packed. I would insist on waiting in my car and being called when it was time to go back to a private screening room to see the doctor. Maybe they are already doing this.

    DH went to our dentist for a cleaning and checkup a few weeks ago after being postponed from March. I had just been in late Feb before everything shut down. He was perfectly fine with how everything was handled.

    Lars thanked OutsidePlaying
  • Lars
    Original Author
    last year

    Fortunately, my dermatologist has a large waiting room, and it is never crowded, and there are never more than three or four people in it at one time.

    There is, however, an elevator to the fourth floor, but I could always take the stairs.

  • Lindsey_CA
    last year

    @Lars - I, too, have to go to the dermatologist for skin checks every six months because I have had four skin cancers removed (two basal cell, two squamous cell).

    I had a dermatology appointment yesterday afternoon. First time I've been out of the house in three months. This appointment was supposed to be on March 19th, but because of the Corona Virus, they called me to reschedule, and it was rescheduled for yesterday. (The shutdown was ordered on March 19, but they called me a few days prior to reschedule me because I am a senior citizen, and before the shutdown order, seniors were told to avoid people as much as possible.) At that time, no one knew when things would get "back to normal" or if the appointment would again need to be rescheduled, but, thankfully, the appointment day/time held up.

    At the end of May when the office sent out an e-mail to patients that they would be reopening, this was included in that message (screenshot):

    And, sure enough, my temp was taken as soon as I arrived. I was wearing a mask, as was everyone else that I saw. As soon as my temp was taken, I was given a squirt of hand sanitizer. Most of the seats in the waiting room had signs taped on them that said, "Do Not Sit Here." In the area where I sat, there were eight chairs but only two didn't have the signs. I didn't look at the other seating areas. I was only seated for about one minute before I was taken into a room. There was one patient waiting when I arrived, who was taken into the back almost immediately after I arrived, and there was no one in the waiting room when I left.

    I felt totally safe the entire time.

    Lars thanked Lindsey_CA
  • kadefol
    last year

    You can call the derm and ask about their covid procedures before you go, that way you'll know if you are comfortable keeping your appointment. I
    had to go to they eye doc today (potential problem that had to be
    checked quickly) and though I had misgivings, I was comfortable with
    their safety measures once we arrived. They took everyone's temperature
    right at the reception desk and only allowed a very limited number of
    patients seated far apart. All the employees wore masks,
    and masks were required for patients as well.

    They also thoroughly cleaned all the machines prior to usage and after usage. And no hand-shaking, just elbow bumps. :)

    I am going to put the dentist off longer though, no way to get a
    cleaning with a mask on and there is just too much opportunity for
    transfer of nasty stuff, which was already the case even pre-covid.

    Lars thanked kadefol
  • bpath
    last year

    I made my dental appt back in December, and a few weeks ago as the were getting ready to reopen, they asked if I wanted to keep it, and what all they were doing new. They have always worn masks or shields, so that is the same. They have many new procedures in place. And I feel comfortable... Mostly... Going. So I will.

    I could use a visit to the ophthalmologist, but I don't have one so I know it'll be a long wait. I could probably get in to the optometrist and optician, but I'd like to see the ophtho. I don't know what the new procedures are at the optometrist.

    Lars thanked bpath
  • socks
    last year

    Lars, just call and ask what they are doing to protect against spread of virus. Remember, they don't want to get themselves sick either. So it's for patients as well as staff. You are wise to follow up even tho' you are nervous about it. We all have to carry on for some of these needed appointments.

    Lars thanked socks
  • Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)
    last year

    I re scheduled my dentist appointment for July. Not to change the topic, but still a doctor, so I hope you don’t mind. My old dog stopped eating on Sunday, so I had no choice other than to make an appointment. Went this morning. I had to call from the parking lot for them to get us straight to a room. It was a bit unusual. Usually I walk her to the scale, hold her head while drawing blood or when they do other unpleasant stuff. Stayed back this time around. The vet was able to draw the blood without assistance, but two of the technicians had their heads together for a while when they gave her fluids. Not sure how professional their masks were. Thankful they are doing their jobs though.

  • arcy_gw
    last year

    My dentist cancelled back in March..said they would call me when they reopen. They did and I had my cleaning two weeks ago. They had me wait in the car until they were ready...took my temperature, sanitize my mouth with some rinse...There is no reason for you not to proceed with your appointments...wear a mask and all will be fine.

    Lars thanked arcy_gw
  • georgysmom2
    last year

    I had an eye exam last month that had taken me four months to get and I didn't want to cancel. I'm having cataract surgery, which is long over due, in two weeks. I was very comfortable in the Dr. office. It was a very large waiting room and I was the only one waiting. Most of the chairs had been removed for social distancing, with a notice on every chair not to move them since they've been strategically placed. Everyone had masks on. Tomorrow I'm going for my general physical. I am to wait in car and call when I get there. They will let me know when a clean examining room is available. No one is in waiting room. If you have no dental problems, I might put that off for a month or two but not too long because as we go into the fall, this virus might rear it's ugly head again. I would definitely see the dermatologist. That's very important and I think once you get there you will feel safe with the precautions taken. This is coming from someone who for two and a half months paid a cleaning woman and wouldn't have her come But my house really really needed her so I broke down and gave the green light. I stayed upstairs while she cleaned downstairs. I also made my first trip to a grocery store just last week. I only had a few items to get, everyone was wearing masks there were just a handful of people in the store and everyone was social distancing. I was in and out in about 10 min. and didn't feel threatened. Don't plan on doing it frequently. Eventually we have to adjust to a little more norm but with caution. Actually, now is the time to go because right now everyone feels like you which means there are fewer people to contend with. :-))))

    Lars thanked georgysmom2
  • Bunny
    last year

    Lars, 5 years ago I had a melanoma removed on my leg. I noticed a newish small rough spot on the same leg, took a photo and submitted it to my Kaiser dermatologist. I'm having a video appt. next week.

    Lars thanked Bunny
  • Kathsgrdn
    last year

    Since the lockdown I've had an EGD, almost no one there, had to sit in my car until they were ready for me. Then I had a steroid injection in my foot after postponing it too, again almost no one in the waiting room with me. I think they are taking extra precautions still. I have a follow up with the pain clinic tomorrow. The nurse called this morning to tell me they were still doing screening at the door and to wear a mask. I wouldn't wait on the dermatologist especially since you've already postponed it.

    Lars thanked Kathsgrdn
  • maifleur03
    last year

    I would definitely go for the skin cancer but for the dentist unless I had problems I would look at my teeth especially near the gums to see if I had any build up. No build up I would put it off. Build up/if the hygienist normally removes lots of stuff or you have weak teeth to the dentist I would go.

    Lars thanked maifleur03
  • pekemom
    last year

    I have a dental cleaning appointment that is scheduled for June 22, we'll see if it needs to be rescheduled.

    Lars thanked pekemom
  • 2katz4me
    last year

    I just rescheduled some medical appts that had been cancelled due to the virus. Not too concerned as I won’t be very close to anyone for very long and we‘ll all be masked up. Dental appts are in much closer proximity but dental professionals have good infection control practices stemming from HIV, hepatitis, etc. I have an appt in July and will probably keep that. I also want to get eye appt while I still have COBRA vision plan. Those people are right in your face too. I think I‘ll go now while Covid cases are declining. Could be worse later.

    Lars thanked 2katz4me
  • nicole___
    last year

    My dentist.....She is the best! She got us in for cleanings last March. We used to be neighbors. Saw each other every day. Nothing medical to go in for...

    Lars...You've got an appointment for the dermatologist... that's good! Keep on top of that! The dentist, a cleaning....yeah...just go! Your health ....It's important.

    Lars thanked nicole___
  • roarah
    last year

    I have had many actual appointments and blood draws through out lock down. My cardiologist was open for certain patients and I saw him in march and again in April. I did wear an n95 mask there and for my blood tests.

    My thirteen year old has braces and as soon as my state allowed dentist to reopen she was called to come in. I was not allowed in and she waited in the car until the chair was ready and only one patient in building at a time.

    Last Thursday my dh had a colonoscopy. He needed a covid test the day before and it had to be negative before going into the building. Even with a negative nasal test they still scanned his temp and asked questions before he entered the facility.

    I had my gyn today and it was the first appointment I have had where i was in a waiting room with another patient. I was less comfortable with this but the chairs were well spaced and everyone was wearing a mask.

    Good luck I hope you are NED.

    Lars thanked roarah
  • murraysmom Zone 6a OH
    last year

    I canceled my dental appointment for a cleaning. I figured it wasn't important enough and can wait until we see how things go.

    Lars thanked murraysmom Zone 6a OH
  • lisa_fla
    last year

    FL entered phase 2 on Friday. On Sunday an article in the paper advised to postpone dental cleanings for now. I have done that anyway, it’s too long of a face to face contact even with the worker wearing a mask.


    Like everyone has said, the derm is a must for you. I due for the eye dr but they allowed everyone to get a 90 day supply of contacts when all of this started. I’ve started not wearing them every day so they last longer. When they do run out I will go. I have the beginning of cataracts and my vision is 20/800 without correction. I can’t mess around with that.



    Lars thanked lisa_fla
  • Lars
    Original Author
    last year

    This is all good advice, and I do feel good about keeping my dermatologist appointment, but I will have to call beforehand to see if I will have to wait in my car. I don't think that will be necessary, since there should be plenty of room in the waiting room, but I won't take that for granted. I can also go on the UCLA portal to see what protocols they will have in place. I generally get details about those a day or two ahead of any appointments I have anyway.

    I have my annual physical in September and an ophthalmologist appointment in November, and I hope to be able to keep both of those.

  • nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10
    last year

    My May 5 dental appointment has been rescheduled for August 20.

    The office closed down early when California was planning the response to Covid. The backlog plus routine cleanings already currently scheduled gave me the August date.

    I'll see how I feel when the date comes closer.

    The office is in Santa Monica.

    I want to have an eye exam for new prescription glasses -- I even purchased the frames on March 11, my last foray into public spaces before the safer-at-home order.

    The eye exam is covered by Kaiser, and I'm not certain when I'll feel comfortable going there. The eye care is at a separate facility from the hospital and medical offices, there's a large combination waiting room and sales display for frames, but I don't have as much confidence in Kaiser's building layout and management of physical distancing as with the dentist.

    Lars thanked nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10
  • bbstx
    last year

    I need to be re-scanned for my new Invisalign braces. I asked for the first appointment of the day. They were supposed to get back to me, but that was 2 weeks ago. I paid, then we had the shutdown. I’m ready to get this show on the road!

    Lars thanked bbstx
  • Mystical Manns
    last year

    Lars, I'm glad you made the dermatologist appointment, as one who has had several melanomas and basal cells removed, I'm also seeing mine every six months. Two visits now, with nothing found! Yay!

    I went to my mid-May appointment, and they were allowing one person at a time in the waiting room. As people arrived for their appointments, we were checked in and escorted to a room rather than waiting in the main room. All employees were wearing masks, even those behind the counter and glass wall.

    Lars thanked Mystical Manns
  • Annegriet
    last year

    Lars--I feel your stress and apprehension man. My bff went to dentist yesterday and she said it was fine--they were were covered in PPE gear and they had a zillion precautions. I would imagine all dentists are like that--they are in danger being inches from your face. Another friend has kept all her appointments--colonoscopy, eye specialist, dermatologist, MRI and felt fine with all the precautions.

    I need a colonoscopy. Never had one. I'll be 52 this autumn. It got away from me because my mom passed and I like to do appointments during summer vacation. Now I'm paranoid. I live with my elderly dad and worry for his health all the time. That's why i'm scared to go to get the test. Not worried about me--I'd survive--worried I'll bring it home to him and he won't. A friend who is a doc says 50 is arbitrary age--recommends I wait because I don't currently have a problem. I also have gynecology appoint in September. I hate that office. It's a sardine can size. Not sure what to do either. I've had problems so I feel like I need that one.

    I'm glad you are going to your appointment. I agree with whoever above said this isn't going away soon and we all have to learn how to deal with it. Stay well!

    Lars thanked Annegriet
  • Lars
    Original Author
    last year

    Annegriet if there is any history of colon cancer in your family, you should not put off the colonoscopy. My brother waited until he was 53, and by then he already had full-blown cancer and had to have major surgery. I think they need to lower the age for the first colonoscopy to 45 for anyone with a family history.

  • SeattleMCM
    last year

    I didn't read all the comments, but when it comes to cancer, the risk of NOT going far outweighs risk of coronavirus, IMO.

    please remember that specialized clinics are just about the cleanest places you can be right now! I gave blood 6 weeks ago, and I'll happily do it again next week.

    as for the dentist: if you're uncomfortable, I recommend getting a waterpik and using it every day. put in one tsp of hydrogen peroxide for a full tank of water. then brush w/ flouride toothpaste - in that order. (I have mild periodontitis, and using a waterpik caused my gum pockets to shrink. sorry TMI, but that's just how effective that piece of equipment is.)

    Lars thanked SeattleMCM
  • Lars
    Original Author
    last year

    I do have a waterpik, but I don't use it regularly, although I do floss once or twice a day. I'll have to start using the waterpik again, I guess. Thanks for the recommendation.

    My dentist recommended that I use brush picks for the one or two places where I have deep pockets, but the waterpik is much easier to use, if somewhat messy.

  • arcy_gw
    last year

    I too had an eye appointment last month. I sought it out as the sight in my right eye really went wonky. My temp was taken before I entered. I was surprised their waiting room wasn't stripped of all the upholstered furniture that is prevalent. At some point life has to proceed and medical needs have to be addressed or what was the quarantine for if we all fall apart anyway!!!

  • amylou321
    last year
    last modified: last year

    I am sitting here, looking fab and fierce in my pink mask, in a specialist's waiting room. My appointment was 30 minutes ago. And there is a man snoring loudly in the chair across from me. No one has been called back since I arrived 45 minutes ago. I suppose some things will never change. Thank goodness for the internet......

  • gsciencechick
    last year

    amylou321, can you go wait in your car?


    Annegriet, I also echo please go. I also speak from personal reasons. The procedure can be very quick, and it's done in a sterile suite. You might be there max an hour from in to out.


  • amylou321
    last year

    Nope. The office is on the 6th floor of the hospital. Its okay. I dont fear getting ill. I am just sick of waiting. Its been over an hour now......

  • 2katz4me
    last year

    I decided I'm going to get every possible appointment taken care of now. If CV19 cases surge following the riots and reopening of businesses things may get shut down again. I don't want to neglect my health for a year or longer because of coronavirus.

    Definitely don't put off a colonoscopy if you have any family history. DH has extensive family history and a cousin who is a gastroenterologist. She hand wrote a heartfelt letter to all of her adult cousins and told them to get in for a colonoscopy immediately regardless of their age. DH was about 40 at the time. He had his and adenomatous polyps were found and removed. They are the kind that can turn into cancer. Age 50 is definitely arbitrary. I know at least five people who have had colorectal cancer at ages much younger than that and they had no family history.

    Regarding waterpik - I was once a dental hygienist. I have a college classmate, who works for a periodontist, clean my teeth. She highly recommends the waterpik. I finally bought one and find it is a PITA to use - big mess. DH loves it and moved it to his sink. I guess I should try to use it more often.

    Lars thanked 2katz4me
  • morz8
    last year

    Waterpik/flosser - I bought one about three months ago, just as I was going in for my last 6 mo cleaning. I hadn't had one for years. It was one of the Costco specials that month (something like $25 off their regular price). It's messy ;0) But I think I'm getting the hang of bending over my wide vanity sink far enough that I at least keep the water in the area of the vanity, and not on the floor, no longer power washing the mirror with it. I'd always flossed daily but like the clean feeling of the waterpik when finished. Twice a day, every day. We'll see if I get out of the the hygienists chair any faster when I go again in three more months...I do not particularly like to sit for 45 minutes while someone pokes around in my mouth. Wish it was slightly quieter. DH is usually in bed shortly before I am and I'm conscious of the noise I'm making in the master bathroom just as he's watching the last of the news on TV, falling asleep.

  • Annegriet
    last year

    Roarah--dumb question--did your husband have a face shield or is that not allowed when you are put under. Just thinking about safety.

  • Raye Smith
    last year

    I guess you'all should be thankful that you have local doctors to visit. I haven't checked buy I wouldn't be surprised if my dentist and the few other doctors here haven't closed their offices.

    Even here, going and waiting in the car would be miserably and possibly dangerously hot this time of year.

  • Tina Marie
    last year

    I have not heard of any patient wearing a face shield. I would guess the dr and others in the treatment room wore masks and/or face shields. Your mask actually protects others more than it protects you (and vice versa). Personally, I would not put off a colonoscopy, even if you're not an "at risk" person. I have very little qualms about a medical appointment. These places should already be sanitized and I would guess even more so since covid started. The medical waiting rooms I have been in, extra precautions were taken. Furniture was either missing pieces (fewer chairs, etc.) or pieces were marked off as not to sit there. There are no magazines or items for you to handle. Some have doors open (held in place), or have installed push bars/foot pedals so you don't touch the door. Hand sanitizer in multiple locations. Every office I have been in, I have had my temperature taken and the "at-risk" questions asked.

    Lars thanked Tina Marie
  • grapefruit1_ar
    last year

    I had cataract surgeries in May that had been postponed from March. They were at a large medical facility and could not have been easier. Temperature checks at the door, masks for everyone, lots of disenfecting and social distancing took place. I never felt the least bit uncomfortable.

  • SeattleMCM
    last year

    I've rarely had a problem with the waterpik being messy. you put it in your mouth before you turn it on, and you keep your lips loosely closed while using it.

    for me, I have to use it because of my condition. but for those with healthy gums that want to postpone cleanings for a really long time, I recommend the waterpik for prevention. gum disease is no joke. oh also, horrible fact: you can pass it on to your partner. ugh. gross.

    now if only waterpik would improve their design or offer a fancy version that's hidden in the wall. I'd totally shell out for that. I hate having an appliance on my bathroom counter!

    Lars thanked SeattleMCM
  • Joaniepoanie
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Both DH and I had checkups and blood work last week at different locations. We both felt as comfortable as you can under these circumstances that our health system has sufficient precautions in place.

    I bought an off brand of WaterPik and I don’t like that it doesn’t hold much water so constantly refilling it and yes, another appliance cluttering the counter. Flossing is easier and I didn’t see a big difference between flossing and waterpik. Not sure I’m ready for a cleaning just yet and decided to change dentists when our dentist stayed open (not just for emergencies) against ADA recommendations and to the horror of my sister in law hygienist. She is not going back to work yet herself (part time) until all the kinks are worked out with the new protocols.

    Lars thanked Joaniepoanie
  • Annegriet
    last year

    Thanks for all the food for thought. My only concern is the elderly person I live with. My Dad. I love that old guy! I think I'm going to get the test asap--someone mentioned that the virus is going to get much worse before better and I don't want to put off important things. That's how I feel right now. I'm a stressed and angsty person to begin with so thank you for being my sounding board.

  • bpath
    last year

    Well, I went to my dental appointment yesterday, that I had scheduled back in December. Here’s how it went down:

    3 weeks ago, they called to confirm my appointment, we assured each other we had not had symptoms of, been diagnosed with, or been in contact with someone diagnosed, with Covid. They told me all their new procedures.

    2 days before, they sent me an electronic confirmation and form to fill out about my Covid status like they did 3 weeks ago.

    1 day before, because I hadn’t really read the email and filled out the form, they called to remind me and to get my credit card number to pay in advance, if I wanted. I did, and I filled out the form.

    6 hours before, they sent me the digital form again to fill out.

    0 hour, per their instructions, I entered the empty waiting room not a moment before or after my scheduled time. The hygienist was waiting, masked. In the chair, I rinsed 30 seconds with a hydrogen peroxide and water solution, spit into a cup that was promptly disposed of in hazardous waste. Didn’t spit into the little chair-side sink. I took off my glasses (as I usually do) and she gave me goggles. She took my temperature.

    The hygienist put on her face shield. She also wore glasses, and needed flip-up goggles with “loupes” on them for close work. Poor thing, there were at least 5 layers between her eyes and mine.

    She positioned a “pressure machine” that I guess worked like a shop vac (sounded like one) to suck up any droplets. The instruments were...I can’t remember, they told me three weeks ago, but some were disposable and some went through an intense process with days between uses.

    The rest of the appointment went as normal. When I left, the receptionist slipped me my receipt under the plexiglass shield at the desk.

    I felt comfortable.

    One thing I noticed: no magazines in the waiting room, since no one will be waiting in there for a good while. This will probably kill the print magazine industry, which was already struggling, and which was recently hurting from the drop in advertising. And for those of us who still get print magazines, where will we take them when we finish with them? I often left a magazine behind when I would go to an appointment.